There's nothing like a championship-game victory to ease the pain of two regular-season defeats.
That's what took place for The Ellis School when the Tigers defeated regular-season champion Shady Side Academy, 1-0, in the WPIAL Class AA championship game this past Tuesday night at North Allegheny High's Newman Stadium.
Shady Side Academy won both regular-season matches by scores of 2-0 and 1-0. Ellis enters the PIAA playoffs with an overall record of 11-2. Shady Side finishes at 14-4.
The game's only score came when Angelina Scheuermann banged home a shot past by Shady Side Academy goalie Alexa Conomikes after getting a nice feed from Abigail Stubenhofer with 8:57 left in the game.
The winning goal came as a result of a penalty corner, the eighth of the game enjoyed by the Tigers. A penalty corner allows the team benefiting from the call to put the ball into play from aside the opposing team's goal. Several players – along with the goalie – are stationed with the goalie in the cage and cannot move until the ball is touched by the player on the field of play receiving the ball.
Scheuermann received the ball from Stubenhofer moments after the ball was put into play by senior midfielder Charlotte Forsythe and scored the goal.
Scheuermann, a 5-5 sophomore forward, said the Tigers work a lot on the set play.
"We put a lot of practice on our corners," she said. "(The day before the championship game), we worked on corners a lot to get them perfect. It really paid off."
First-year coach Amanda Rose was ecstatic with her team's victory, the second title the Tigers have won in a row and the sixth in the school's history. The loss prevented Shady Side from winning its 14th WPIAL championship.
"We definitely wanted this more," she said. She said Scheuermann was a midfielder coming into the season, and Rose moved her to forward.
"After the first Shady Side match, I moved her to forward because she has too much attack mode," Rose said. "I moved Nyjah Cephas back to midfield, and it was the best transition I had for them."
The win put the Tigers into a first-round game against Forbes Road at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bald Eagle Area High School.
Rose is grateful that the Tigers received a one-week break before entering the PIAA playoffs.
Three years ago, Fox Chapel High had to get on a bus the day after winning the WPIAL championship and compete in a play-in game at State College where the Foxes lost to the Lady Little Lions.
That scenario won't happen for either Ellis or Fox Chapel, the WPIAL champion, as both teams begin their playoff treks on Tuesday.
"It's very important," said Rose about not beginning the playoffs a day – or even two days – after the WPIAL championship game. "The next few days are very important and that will allow us to work on things that need to be done. This team has fought as a full team – and not just individuals. That's important."